A Report on the Conference
"Researching Rebetika: Present Projects
and Future Prospects"
held on the Island of Hydra, 18-21 October 2001
I offer the following description of our activities. Partly as a record for people who could not attend the Rebetiko Gathering. Partly as a company report for those organisations which supported and funded our activities. And partly as a signpost to the future our next Hydra Conference will be held on 18-21 October 2002.
Conference had several aims, and they were achieved beyond all expectation.
To create and develop serious international academic collaboration in
researching Greek music and rebetiko in particular. And to produce a book of
Research Papers on the subject.
To use the new technologies of the Internet, e-mail, MP3, digital video etc, to
build a horizontal network of communication between rebetiko researchers,
musicians, singers, film-makers and music-lovers. To emphasise the
international aspect of that communication.
To bring together Greek and Turkish musicians and singers as a way of
highlighting the Asia Minor roots of rebetiko music..
To invite the islanders of Hydra to share the experience of our Conference.
Namely, to organise open-access rebetiko film shows and one free concert with
the best musicians we could bring.
international academic collaboration
the atmosphere of world war that was breaking around us, we had a good
international representation of academics. Speakers came from Greece, Britain, Turkey, Hungary, Norway
and the USA. Some of our speakers were forced to cancel at the last moment
because of flight uncertainties, but we had about 60 people in attendance.
Papers of a high quality were presented. The list of papers is presented at the
end of this Report.
particular we are proud to have mobilised the younger generation of rebetiko
researchers. This field has for long been the province of the old guard, with
long-standing mutual hostilities and corporative interests.
formal presentations were made, and those will be published in book form during
the course of this year. We are looking for sponsorship to help with the costs
a horizontal network of communication
established a Website for the Conference (http://www.geocities.com/HydraGathering),
which proved to be a useful mobilising tool. That site will be further
developed to house an Archive section, in which Rebetiko-related research
materials can be accessed by people around the world.
participants at the Conference have exchanged e-mail addresses, and already new
creative projects are arising out of the very fruitful encounter that we had.
were particularly honoured to have the world premiθre of a fine new
French-Greek film about Rebetiko Luc Bongrand's "Nuit Sans
Lune". We were also astonished by the work done by Antoine Carolus
on his Interactive Rebetiko Database (he received a standing ovation for
his presentation). Already the new-technology possibilities can be seen in the
Rebetiko-related Websites that Antoine is setting up.
has placed a photo archive at http://www.geocities.com/HydraGathering2001 and
also a link to his own Dechiotification site. He further intends to make
available a Rebetiko Database on the Internet.]
bringing together Greek and Turkish
The Saturday night concert was magnificent. At the Douskos restaurant it
was standing-room only. In addition to our Conference attendees, more than 250
Hydra islanders joined us for the concert, and Mr Douskos assured us that such
an event had never been seen on the island. We had decided to bring some of the
best musicians in Greece, and the band list included Sofia Papazoglou
main singer; Kyriakos Gouventas violin; Manolis Pappos
bouzouki, singer; Achilleas Persides kithara; Yiannis Alexandris
outi kithara baglama singer; Andreas Tsekouras accordeon
baglama banjo mandola tenore. A notable part of the programme was a special
dedication to the music of Kostas Kaplanis.
The music continued from 9.30pm to way past 4 o'clock the following
morning. I am happy to report that we filmed the entire concert on digital
video. We also recorded all the music on high-quality 8-track digital
recording. This will enable us to make both a film and a CD of the
think none of us will forget the wonderful presence of Muammer Ketencoglou
(accordionist) and Ivi Dermanci (singer) from Istanbul, and the
contribution which they made throughout the Gathering.
is blind, and in two memorable sessions he played together with Hydra's
resident accordionist, Mr Doulis, who is also blind. He also played
several songs for the island's Ladies' Choir in the Melina Mercouri Hall, a
wonderful moment which we hope to repeat as part of a formal concert next year.
shall also not forget the presence of MooSooToo, who played for a solid
12 hours non-stop during the extended Sunday jam-session. Together with the
massed bouzoukis and baghlamadhes of the Athens-based Rebetiko Forum. And our
very own English bouzouki-maker, John Harrison from Yorkshire
I have to report that Ali Fuat Aydin and Cenk Guray from Ankara
were not able to attend, because the Greek Government refused Ali Fuat a visa.
We hope that this will not happen again next year.
SHARING WITH THE ISLANDERS OF HYDRA
Mayor and Municipality of Hydra supported our Conference fully.
therefore designed part of our Gathering as a present to the people of Hydra
a thank-you for having offered us their hospitality.
from the Saturday night concert, we also arranged a harbourside music session
at the Latini Bar on the Sunday, which was open to everyone, and was much
enjoyed by all. The Conference itself, and the film-projection sessions, were
also open to the islanders free of charge.
WHY DID WE CHOOSE HYDRA?
chose Hydra for our Gathering for several reasons. Partly because the island is
so beautiful. Partly because it has easy access from Athens. But most of all
because the island has no motor cars, no motor scooters, no motor bikes.
It is a place of quiet and calm which means that singers and performers can
make music in the streets without needing to use amplification. And that is our
preferred way of hearing our music.
had unforgettable nights of music. And friendship. And I should add that the
weather was utterly perfect.
the plan was to repeat the Gathering in two years time in 2003. However
EVERYONE said that they want the next one to be sooner.
we have decided to make the Hydra Rebetiko Gathering an annual event.
have already booked the Melina Mercouri hall for the weekend of 18-21 October
2002, and I have begun contacting speakers around the world in order to plan
next year's programme.
2002 Conference will feature several new projects. These will include the
A special section dedicated to performance of Karaghiozis puppet theatre,
in which we hope to collaborate with Mr Evgenios Spatharis.
Special workshops on the musical techniques of rebetiko ( bouzouki,
baglama, guitar, and voice techniques).
A session on musical instrument-making, in which we hope to collaborate
with the Museum of Greek Musical Folk Instruments.
is now clear that, even with a small amount of publicity, the Hydra Rebetiko
Gathering can grow into a major event in the Greek musical calendar. We are
committed to building it during the years to come but at the same time we
intend to keep the very special qualities of informality and intimacy which
made the Gathering such a pleasure this time.
people helped to make the Hydra Rebetiko Gathering a success. We would
particularly like to thank the Mayor of Hydra Constantinos Anastopoulos
and his team. Thanks are due to Matina Dilaveri who set the ball
rolling. And especially to Anna Roussi and Kyria Georgia of the Hydra Development Office (without
whose help our Conference simply would not have happened). At the Greek Embassy
in London Nikos Papadakis and Eleni Dracopoulou did wonders to
smoothe our path to the Ministry of Culture. And at the Ministry we are
grateful to Mrs Hajinicolaou and Mrs Pitsaki. For travel
arrangements we thank Olympic Airways, and in particular Kostas
Konstantinidis (London) and Vassilis Gougoulidis (Istanbul) who went
beyond the call of duty. In Athens Lambros Liavas and Sophia
Arsenidou of the Museum of Folk Instruments performed small and life-saving
miracles on our behalf.
thank John Lyras of the Paralos Shipping Company, for kindly
contributing to the travel costs of our cinematographer Emilio della Chiesa.
For having organised a team of contributors from the Panteion University, we
thank Nikos Kotaridis. Special thanks are due to the organiser of our
musicians, Andreas Tsekouras, for hours of unpaid labour. I should add
that Kelsey Edwards of SaronicNet
helped splendidly with arranging accommodation on Hydra. And last but not least
we thank the Modern Greek Section of the University of Cambridge and David
Holton who provided the original seed sponsorship.
to conclude, a very big thank-you to everyone who attended the Gathering,
despite long and difficult journeys and despite real fears of travelling at
this time of war. The fact that we all arrived on Hydra and had such a rich and
rewarding time is a testimony to the creative and uniting power of music. I
look forward to seeing you all again next year.
together with Muammer Ketencoglou and the musicians of the Rebetiko Forum
Gathering, October 2001
Appendix 1: List of Speakers
[For various reasons, at the last minute
some of our speakers were not able to attend.
Speakers are listed alphabetically as
1. ElenI AndrIakaIna: "Thoughts on a Historical Sociology of Rebetiko and of
"Rebetology": Rebetiko as a Cultural Object"
2. ALI FUAT
AYDIN: "The Characteristics of the
Music of Asia Minor Greeks and the Effects of "Population Exchange"
in Greek Music: A Comparative Approach"
BONGRAND: Presentation of a
new Franco-Hellenic Rebetiko film: "Nuit sans lune"
4. ANTOINE CAROLUS: "Project for an Interactive Contributive Rebetiko Database"
5. ED EMERY: "The Current State of Research
FERRIS: "The Rebetiko Minore:
The Magical Marriage of Oriental Monophony and Western Harmony"
GAUNTLETT: "Mammon and the Muse:
Rebetika as a Marketing Construct."
8. CENK GURAY see above, joint paper with ALI FUAT AYDIN
Re-Orientalised: Its Development as World Music"
10. MUAMMER KETENCOGLOU: "Shared Influences in Turkish Music
KotarIdIs: "From Rebetiko song to
12. PANAYIOTIS KOUNADHIS: Title to be announced
13. YANNIS KOURIS: "The Representation of the Figure of the Koutsavakis / Mangas
in the Greek Shadow Theatre Tradition"
14. DIANE MUELLER: Title to be announced
15. Giorgos Nikolakakis: "Ideological and Methodological Approaches to Rebetiko: The contribution of local paradigms of Crete and Lesbos"
OIkonomou see above, joint
paper with NIkos KotarIdIs
17. PANAGHIS PANAGHIOTOPOULOS: "The Slipperiness of Rebetiko: The Neutralisation
and Idealisation of Rebetiko"
18. NIKOS PAPACHRISTOPOULOS: "Mockery and Deceit in Rebetiko Song"
19. ANASTASIA VALENTINI RIGA : "Modern Greek Society and Rebetiko Song: The Social Representations of a Simultaneous Birth"
20. KATALIN SZABO: "The Topography of Rebetiko"
21. KIRSTI THORSEN: "Ya sou manga mou dervisi: Sufi Symbolism in
22. Daphne Tragaki:
Title to be announced
Vamvakas: "The Entertainment
Parameter of Rebetiko: Humour as a Means of Organising Subjective and Social
24. YannIs ZaImakIs
see above, joint paper
with GIorgos NIkolakakIs
REBETIKO DINNER AND MUSICAL EVENT
to be held at the Xeri Elia ("Douskos")
on the Island of Hydra, Saturday 20 October 2001
"AN EVENING OF REBETIKO SONG"
"THE FRIENDS OF KYRIAKOS
Sofia Papazoglou main singer
Kyriakos Gouventas violin
Manolis Pappos bouzouki, singer
Achilleas Persides kithara
Yiannis Alexandris outi kithara baglama singer
Andreas Tsekouras accordeon baglama banjo mandola tenore
Also performing will be our guests from Turkey
Muammer Ketencoglou accordion and Ivi Dermanci singer
Ali Fuat Aydin and Cenk Guray baglamadhes
together with the London-based rebetiko group MooSooToo
** ADMISSION TO THE CONCERT IS FREE **
FOR ALL HYDRA RESIDENTS